Review: Urbanmatz’ 6’x4′ Snow Territory Game Mat.

Warning, Pic HEAVY! – Also, most pics can be clicked for larger versions.

Recently, at the end of 2016 I placed an order for three gaming mats from Urbanmatz, based in the Czech Republic. There was a delay on one of the mats I ordered, as it was out of stock for a few weeks, though Martin was kind enough to offer me a freebie Snow Territory mat, which he explained had some yellowed stain marks on it. I gladly accepted the offer, and am reviewing the mat now, with the noted discolouration noted and allowed for. I recently reviewed their 6’x3′ Space Mat along with the Fantasy Flight 3’x’3′ X-Wing Starfield Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Once again, the Urbanmatz mat is on neoprene (mouse pad material) and is quite nice. I wasn’t sure what to expect when it was offered, and while I was secretly hoping for a 6×4, was expecting a 4×4, not wanting to get my hopes up – but it turned out that it was a full-sized 6×4 mat.

Now I don’t have any models at all based for a snow environment, and even my thoughts around (eventually) playing Frostgrave involved basically ignoring the cold-weather setting but my initial thoughts when it was offered was actually to use it as a second mat for X-Wing, especially given the precedent from the recent films for atmospheric fighter battles.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Unlike some other Snow/Arctic mats I’ve browsed recently, the details in the Urbanmatz offering are quite subtle and non-specific, even being pretty scale-agnostic. Just offering a hint of something buried below the snow, but subtle enough that the mat could also be used as a cloudscape if that was something needed for a game. I’d take some comparison pictures showing the textures with 15mm armour followed by 28mm infantry if I had anything painted appropriately.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars X-Wing

I did spend the better part of an afternoon with Marouda setting up and laying out figures to see how it all would look. First up were a couple of flights of X-Wing ships.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars X-Wing

I honestly think it looks a treat for X-Wing and gives a nice unique look to the (pretend) battle – and should do so when we actually do play X-Wing on it.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Here’s a close-up of some of the discolouration on the mat. I was expecting it to be far worse, potentially in large yellow piss-patches in the middle of the mat but the issues are limited to a few places around the edge. While I can fully understand why Urbanmatz are unable to sell these, they’re minor enough for me to be able to ignore, especially given that the mat was a freebie

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat, Bolt Action

Time for some 28mm models, then. As mentioned before, I lack enough proper painted WW2 to really do much, and I’m completely lacking in snow-themed terrain, so I laid down some old, old Armorcast ruined building corners and my platoon of painted Warlord T-34/85 tanks. The tanks looked alright, though obviously whitewashed would have fit in more effectively.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat, Bolt Action

The buildings, left unbased as they are is usually a positive on darker surfaces as it allows for much more modularity, but on the Snowy Terrain mat they do kinda stand out too starkly. Clearly, if I want to do much with this mat, I should sort out some snow-covered hills and perhaps a few copses of snow-tipped trees. Frozen lake? Snow-covered cabin? Grimdork from Dakka did a whole little snow-themed table recently, and I do have a jar of Jo Sonja’s texture paste around here somewhere…

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat, Bolt Action

The buildings could probably work reasonably well on the Snowy mat if I were to make some squares of “internal damaged building” to lay in the middle of them. Or maybe even some squares of appropriate-looking linoleoum cut with slightly uneven edges?

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

Next up was to lay some more dense scenery onto the mat and see how it looked. First up we went for a kind of Fantasy layout, a pretend-game of Sorta-Frostgrave, to see how it all looks. More specifically to see how my existing terrain worked with the Snow Territory Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

And… it actually looked decent. To me at least. The dark, scorched brown looking bases on both the models and some of the terrain obviously contrast quite starkly with the Snow Territory mat, but it kinda works for me. Obviously snow on bases would make everything tie in much more effectively, but it’s far from awful.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

I hadn’t expected it to work this well, but I found it quite reasonable. Far from perfect, but very workable.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

Next up I added my Conan Wolves into the fray. Frostgrave has random encounters. Probably not 10 wolves at a time, but whatevs. This is for photos.

So yeah. Not too bad at all. Next up was to swap some of the fantasy terrain out and do the same with some 40k models and terrain.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Yeah, that’s a lot of 40k photos. Basically, I took a ton photos and used a small proportion of them above. I guess the point of them all is to give a good “feel” of how the mat works in a smallish 40k game with a pile of scatter terrain on it. I wasn’t hopeful when it came to using it for 40k, but as with the “Frostgrave” game above, I’m pleasantly surprised with how well it works.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Wolf Pack

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Wolf Pack

I thought I’d see how the wolves I painted recently look on the mat without vikings and scenery in the way as well, especially given their snow-grey coats. The answer, pretty decent.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars Miniatures

Star Wars Imperial transports in roughly 6mm scale? Seems to work well…

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars Miniatures

As does their larger cousin in (sorta) 28mm scale from the Hasbro/WotC Star Wars Miniatures game.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars Miniatures

Leading to potential use next time we go to a snow planet in the Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG (The PC’s minis are on the far right).

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars Miniatures

I evidently only have 6 Snowtroopers. How embarassing! I also couldn’t find my AT-STs.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Axis & Allies Angels 20, WWII Dogfight, WW2 Dog Fight

Bringing us full circle with some air combat, I got out some Axis & Allies Angels 20 planes to see how it looked.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Axis & Allies Angels 20, WWII Dogfight, WW2 Dog Fight

Once again, I feel that it looks fine – Great even for air combat battles. I got out some Soviet and Luftwaffe planes for these pics, but it would work just as well for Western Europe 1945 or any other era’s dogfights above the snow. I had a feeling that it’d look good after seeing the X-Wing ships on it, but I wanted to put the WW2 fighters on it and see for myself.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Once again, the bag shots. The 6×4 bag comes with a carry bag that’s noticeably larger than the 6×3 (above in the shot).

Verdict: I’m very pleasantly surprised with the snow mat. I have to admit, it’s not something I’d have ever really considered purchasing, and getting it for free is the only reason I own it. Having it in hand and having had a significant play around with my models on it along with the camera, I can really appreciate it now – especially given the versatility that I managed to work out of it. It’s perhaps not the very best design out there if you only want to play Frostgrave, but I personally really appreciate the fact that it’s very scale-agnostic and works for games and scales from X-Wing to WW2 Dogfights to the more typical 40k/Frostgrave/etc. Clearly it’d work just as well for SAGA, WHFB, Kings of War, Bolt Action, Flames of War and pretty much anything in pretty much any scale needing a winter snow theme, given some complimentary scenery (which I lack).

And to reiterate – while I received this mat for free, there was no request for, no offer nor any implication of Quid Pro Quo in exchange for it. It was kindly offered (I’d guess because I’d already bought 3 and 2 of them were OOS) and gladly accepted, without knowing the size or condition it would be in, given that they were upfront that it was marked. All of the photos were taken over a couple of sessions as I worked out how best I could make use of it myself, and all of the review text are my honest thoughts, feelings and reflections on the mat.

Vikings, þrjú!

The next post of my small Viking project. A couple of weeks ago, when I got up on the morning of Christmas Eve 2016, I decided to paint up some Vikings, and see if I could get them done by Boxing Day. I very deliberately selected four figures. Two of them were the berserker pair that, while now part of the Foundry catalogue are ex-Citadel models from the truly Oldhammer days. Before everything was All-Warhammer, All The Time, Citadel has small ranges of Normans, Vikings and Feudals under the Fighters/F4 category. When Bryan Ansell resurrected Wargames Foundry as a Historicals company while purging the historical ranges from Citadel, he moved a large number of moulds across that he deemed appropriate. The two berserkers here were amongst the models who made the trip, and as such, are still available today.

Citadel F4 Fighters Norse Vikings, Wargames Foundry Viking Berserkers - VNS003

Erik and Thorir the Ex-Citadel Foundry Vikings.

I actually owned both models back in the day. Erik, the model with the 2-handed daneaxe was broken at some stage, losing the axe and chunks of both arms – while Thorir, gazing at the sky, was simply lost to time. I notice that there are a couple of other old models that I always liked still available in the Foundry ex- range, so I’ll have to do another Foundry order before too long to pick them up. I should point out though that all of these models, like my other painted vikings in the above-linked posts came courtesy of the Cannon man from work.

Citadel F4 Fighters Norse Vikings, Wargames Foundry Viking Berserkers - VNS003

These two were painted very quickly, and done on time. While painting them, I noticed the shield boss on Thorir’s shield. This was unfortunate, as I’d selected all four figures based on getting them done quickly, so the two old-school models that were mostly flesh and pants, and the other two that had a good amount of armour and chain on them – and no shields amongst them! So…. erm.

Citadel F4 Fighters Norse Vikings, Wargames Foundry Viking Berserkers - VNS003, Eureka Miniatures Beowulf the Geat

…and joined by Beowulf the Geat.

It took until the first days of 2017 before I got around to painting the shield. I decided on using muted tones for it, to go well with the muted and earthy tones I’d used for both berserkers’ clothing and gear. While I didn’t get the shield pattern perfect, I’m happy with how it came out nonetheless. At the same time I also fished out the model who is the Warlord for the moment – Eureka Miniatures’ Beowulf the Geat – and added some small freehand ravens to his shield, which makes a vast difference to the model in my opinion. I can’t fathom why Nik’s Beowulf range doesn’t have “Viking” keyworded anywhere in it. I’ll have to ring him and point it out since it can’t be helping his online sales. I know that technically, Beowulf predates Vikings by several hundred years, but when you’re selling miniatures…

Vikings with daneaxes

Vikings with Daneaxes

The next pair of Vikings are essentially “just some guys”. I’m not sure of their manufacturers, though I think it’s pretty safe that they’re from different ranges given the difference in sculpt style. If/when I find out where they’re from, I’ll update. In the meantime I have nothing particularly interesting to write about them.

Vikings with Daneaxes

I used a little more in the way of the colour palette on these guys, but still kept them quite muted.

All together now....

All together now….

Finally, a group shot of all my completed Vikings to date. There are quite a few more where they came from!

Vikings, Tvau!

Part Two then, of my Vikings. These figures were mostly completed in 2016. On the 14th of November if my record-keeping is accurate. Of course, I then realised that the horn-blower who wasn’t yet finished should really have a shield as well, and so completing the sextet went into painting limbo, since the horn-blower isn’t exactly my favourite model from the bunch. Since I had to paint a Viking shield for another model a few days ago, I did this one as well.

His mate in the picture above is one of the smaller figures amongst my metal Vikings, but he’s got a bearing to him, both in the pose and especially in the facial sculpt. Like he’s the sort of bloke you wouldn’t want to mess with. The horn-blower on the other hand looks like he has a big plum for a head, but the ruddy cheeks work for his pose.

Of course, now that I’ve finished it, I’m happy enough with the horn-blower’s shield. Simple, but neat and effective. I went with more muted yellows than I usually do, from almost white into an ochre, rather than orange.

Wargames Foundry Vikings

I believe that the larger of these two is a Viking Hearthguard model, and he’s a big chunk of metal. Since he’s chunky and quite well-geared, I gave him a deep red cloak to suggest wealth, and grey hair and a marked face to suggest that he’s both a veteran of many battles as well as (probably) some lucrative international bodyguarding duties. His friend here is painted in simpler, more muted and earthy tones. I tried to “streak” the paint in his shield to suggest a less wealthy origin. Damn, at this scale, the blown-up photographs really emphasise every flaw in the freehand shield painting. They look much neater and straighter at their actual size of 10mm or so.

Wargames Foundry Vikings

Someone’s cloak is clearly much more expensive than someone else’s…

Wargames Foundry Vikings

The final pair are amongst my very favourites of all my Viking models. I think these two are both by Foundry again, but it’s the dynamic posing that really works on these for me. Not a lot more to say about these two. I like the models and I like the way they turned out with paint and their shields added.

Wargames Foundry Vikings

These models, like the first half-dozen will be used for SAGA amongst other things. I’ve got a nice selection for my Hearthguard, and the others will make up a unit of Viking Warriors for the time being. I’m still short a model for a final warrior or my Warlord, so I’ll have to get some more done soon. I’ve just finished a few more Vikings, so once they’re dry and flocked I’ll have them up here as well. I can see a lot of the metals here being spread out amongst the plastics eventually to use as unit leaders.

Wargames Foundry Vikings

When I got to the second half-dozen of my Vikings, I’d decided much more consciously to paint the shields with a palette that complimented their bearers’ clothing and overall colour scheme. I’d been doing this to an extent with the first set, but I’ve been much more aware of it since then. A flaw in the way I used to paint years ago was trying to get too many colours onto my models, when a smaller palette with more variation of those colours works better for the models far more often.

 

 

 

Vikings!

Something a little different to the norm. A bloke at work, who I’ll call “Cannon” and I accidently found out that we both collect and paint toy soldiers last year, when I happened to be carrying a few LotR models past him at work and he was “hey, what are those?” and then to my shock recognised them as LotR models. Sometime earlier this year, he gave me a pile of spare Vikings, in what I think was at least partly an attempt to get me to paint something non-fantasy. There were some nice figures in there, and they’re a mixture of Eureka, Foundry, Crusader, Gripping Beast and possibly others. I’m really not sure of all of their origins, so I’ll have to ask him to let me know which are which so I can properly tag them.

So without any further ado, here’s the start of my SAGA Viking force (and also my KoW Historical Viking force)

Eureka Viking,

A lot of the more subtle highlighting on these guys just hasn’t come out in the photographs, particularly on the shields here. The guy on our left is a Eureka Miniatures model, but I’m not sure about his blurry-faced friendo. Shields are both freehand, and in retrospect I probably should have done something fancier on the red-and-white since he’s got a real leader feel to him, but he was the figure I painted first, so I wasn’t yet confident in freehanding Viking shield designs.

Eureka Miniatures Viking

 

While there’s plenty out there regarding Viking shield designs, you’d think that figuring out realistic Viking clothing colours would be a reasonably easy task, but it was much, much harder than I expected. I noticed initially that Foundry et al have their models painted in much the same way as their Celts – all stripey trousers and colourful patterns. I wasn’t so sure, so in doing some research online, I found quite a bit of contradictory stuff. The TV show “Vikings” had at least one full-time researcher, but then, it’s a TV show. Of course, some random guy on the internet decided to “big man” himself when I dared in a forum to suggest the show as one potential source of painting inspiration and bothered to lecture me on how everything in it was wrong. I guess he must have been there in the 10th century.

In the end, I decided to avoid the whole “stripey trousers” look entirely. I’ve got Celts to paint down the line and so they can have the plaid and stripes. I’ve kept the Vikings to solid colour for the most part, with a mixture of bright colours (especially on shields) and more muted, earthy tones.

I’ve got a pile of plastics to paint later, so I’ve decided to go richer overall in tone with the metal models. These models are where I’ll draw my Warlords, heartguard and other elites from, and so these guys are much more the professional Viking “soldier” and more likely to have visited Albion on “shopping sprees” as well as travelled the Mediterranean or even served as Varangian Guard. Based on these loose ideas, the metal models are much more likely to be wealthy and so afford more colourful clothing, as well as richer shades of colour. The two blokes below really fit that ethos to a tee.

Wargames Foundry Vikings

The Foundry models are in the typical chunky style, but have a lot of character to them. There’s a bit of Brian Blessed (in a ginger wig) to the right guy, and they’re both the sort of figures that Space Wolves seem to want to channel. I’ve got a couple of half-painted Wolves squads I should finish one day as well… and some more actual Wolves half-assembled.

Wargames Foundry Vikings

I enjoyed the freehand designs on these guys. I’m especially proud of the raven. The cross designs look a little wonky, but the photos are of course blown up to quite a few times their actual size, so look much straighter in person. I decided that I might well use transfers on a lot of the Viking models, but all of the metal models would get freehand shields.

Wargames Foundry Vikings

Even when doing “red” cloaks, I’m trying to avoid the bright reds of my fantasy models in favour of darker, slightly earthier reds – while maintaining the richness of colour.

Eureka Vikings, Wagames Foundry Vikings

The group shot. These guys could comprise of half a KoW regiment, but more importantly, Warlord, hearthguard and a spare model) in SAGA. These initial six were finished back in October. I’ve got another batch of five just waiting on their last man before I show them, and a few more now on the paint desk.

A Question of Vikings and Stripey Trousers.

Last year, purely by accident (my carrying some part-painted Axemen of Lossarnach past him at the end of my lunch break) a co-worker spotted my “little men” and actually recognised what they were – specifically LotR models. It turned out that after (sort of) working together for a year or so (we work in different areas of the workplace), unbeknownst to each other there was another hobbyist in the place. Skipping over why we still haven’t managed to schedule a game yet, we’ve traded some odds and bods each way, and late last year he cornered me and rather generously insisted very strongly that I accept some of his unused Viking models – wanting me to take an entire SAGA warband’s worth of them. I was hesitant to accept, since I’ve got a ton of stuff already, but eventually he wore me down and I accepted. Since he asks me every so often if I’ve started painting them, I’ve now decided to paint them up a dozen or so at a time and hopefully help to motivate him to do some painting as well, as he’s been planning to knock out a big block of 50 Vikings in one hit over a fortnight off for at least 6 months now. I’ve told him about the monthly challenge on Dakka, and he’s warmed to the idea of completing a dozen models a month as a more realistic goal.

My WIP Vikings. Just add colour!

So last week I started these. Doing about half an hour of “monkey work” each night after work. Filing metal bases, gluing them down to plastic rounds, adding acrylic putty to the bases, spray undercoating, sanding the bases, then painting the sand. Blacking out the metal parts, drybrush, highlight drybrush, wash…

Stripey and colourful Foundry Vikings. Image stolen from Alternative Norse Miniatures article on Frothers. Check it out!

But now I’m a bit stuck. I want them to look reasonably realistic. They’ll still retain my overall “clean” style, but I want the colours to be appropriate. Browsing various galleries of Viking miniatures tends to show them painted in the same way that many Celt models are painted. Very bright colours, stripey trousers… I dunno. It just seems like they might be barking down the wrong tree.

The same sort of palette (though more muted) can also be found on Gripping Beast’s website.

I know I wasn’t worried about being historically accurate with the Spartans recently and was happy to go for a “Hollywood Style” combination of Lambdas and Corinthian Helmets, though I was wanting to be reasonable with the colours. I did the same with my T-34s for Bolt Action simply because I wanted to get some Red iconography on them despite most Red army tanks of the period and type not having red stars, etc. For whatever reason, I want to get the Vikings more accurate than that same “Hollywood Style”. Television teaches us that “The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants”, after all… 😉

The Vikings, from THP gallery/Elizabeth Sneed

My googling found me quite a good article on Viking clothing on The Hollywood Reporter’s website of all places (yes, really), including an attached gallery. No stripes to be had, but a smallish variety of muted colours.

I’ve got access to Osprey Elite 3 (Vikings) where Angus McBride’s wonderful colour plates only show striped trousers on a Rus/Eastern Viking (pictured on the cover), and Osprey Men at Arms 85 (Saxons/Vikings/Normans) where once more, the plates (G.A.Embleton) again show a variety of muted colours, but no stripes.

Of course, the models I have here are the nicest ones from the batch given to me, and many of them have capes or look like leaders in some form or another, so a unit destined to provide my Hearthguard in SAGA – and as elites in other wargames. So they’ll be painted a little fancier than others. Still, I’m wanting to know if I should stay with mono-colours on their clothing, with perhaps a differently coloured hemline or some patterning on cloaks at the most – and is striped clothing the historical no-go that it seems to be, despite being painted so often on seemingly everyone’s Viking models?

I know there are at least a few people who read this who are far more well-versed in this than I am. Any ideas?

Warlord/Immortal Spartans, Part Two.

And so today I finally finished the second two dozen of these. The first batch had all but two wearing the bronze bell curiass – the other couple wearing a linothorax. I realised that with the limitations of the Warlord/Immortal kit there was no avoiding having a whole lot of the models simply wearing robes and a helmet. So this lot are in essence the “secondary” group of Spartans to the first. Like the first batch, these are a little anachronistic in terms of their gear, but nomoreso than most media depictions and they look decent, so I’m fine with it.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

24 Spartans lined up in a Phalanx for Skirmish-style gaming

As such, I went for a shield scheme that would be distinctive from the previous set, to mark them out as a separate unit. Black Lambdas on a bronze field, rimmed with red was a simple scheme to apply that also looks striking and effective.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Details of the linothorax and robes.

Being a mass of historical figures that will be far in excess of my “proper” Fantasy armies – and also made of figures on the low end of the detail scale, being both “historical truescale 28mm” and frankly not that detailed anyway (their feet are just undetailed hams with a hint of toes at best) I gave them as simple a tabletop job as I can stand to. I still couldn’t help going and lining the clothing of every one of them with a bit of white pattern, though. You can really only see some it from the side or behind, though.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

One Horde or Two Regiments.

They’ll be predominantly used for Kings of War at this point, and so the 24 models make up either two regiments – or more likely a horde – of Spear Phalanx. Marouda helped sporadically, but didn’t enjoy the experience, so I ended up doing much more on them than I’d planned to.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Onwards! And so forth.

I did a simple conversion to mark out the leader. Not that it matters for KoW, but I like to take the opportunity to add a little bit of character in this way. I gave him his spear to hold in his shield hand so that he could wave his sword in the air, no doubt while delivering a stirring speech or battle cry to his men. If many years of warhams have taught me anything, it’s that leaders must be shouting, not wearing a helmet, pointing, or waving something around in the air. It’s simply the rules.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

And alongside his little mate from the first unit.

 

 

Warlord/Immortal Spartans – The First Dozen

These twelve models are the first of 36 Spartans that Marouda and I started painting the other day after watching a doco about (who else?) Leonidas and Thermopylae. She seemed enthusiastic enough, and off we went. It took three days to clean and assemble the 36 models, and with a bit of daily painting, we’ve (well, almost entirely myself) have gotten the first dozen done. I swapped in a lot of the bronze bell curiasses into this group. Initial paint as noted the other day was a dark Tamiya red spray with a Zenithal highlight of Army Painter Red. Maybe I have a crappy can, but that AP spray really leaves a horrid grainy finish. I don’t think I’ll buy their stuff again. I’d rather pay a slight premium and buy GW or Tamiya’s coloured primers.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Anachnonistic Spartans showing their shields. Ready for SAGA Ancients! When it becomes a thing.

The Warlord (formerly Immortal) figures are decent enough, and have both positives and negatives. The sprues that make up the majority of the kits are identical between the Spartans, Ancient Greeks and Classical Greeks, with only the command sprues offering any differentiation or extra pieces. The Spartans come with a sheet that has 90 Lambdas, though that’s broken up into 30 White, 30 Black and 30 Red – so if you want uniformity from your box of 40 figures, you need to buy more. Except – here’s the kicker – Warlord don’t actually sell them!

I got lucky with Warlord’s quality customer service when I called them the other day and asked to order several sheets. I paid for the EIR sheets and they’re going to manually swap them out for the Spartan sheets, which will give me enough to have some freedom on my boxes of Victrix Spartans that don’t come with any decals at all.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Of course when they’re front on, you can’t see their armour decorations.

I did my research before putting together or painting these guys. The Warlord models don’t come with cloaks at all, which is a shame. There’s differing opinion on whether Spartan linothorax armour (the linen armour) was dyed red or not, so I went with “yes”. Similarly with the horsehair crests, there appears to be differing opinions on red or black and white, or some combination. Since the Spartans were around for quite some time, I’d guess both are probably correct. Similarly, I chose a “Hollywood” style anachronistic combination of the Corinthian Helmet (worn in earlier times) over the Pilos, along with the Lambda (used in later times – and not yet at the time of Thermopylae). Let’s face it – if anyone were to decide that they don’t want to play with us because the Spartans aren’t historically accurate (and knowingly so! GASP!) then I probably didn’t want to play someone like that anyway.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

A small unit of Spartans, three deep. Ready for Kings of War!

It wasn’t until taking these photographs that I realised I forgot to flock the figures. I’ll have to do that tomorrow. I might go over the shields again with a satin varnish. The matt is a little washed out.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Low angle shot to see the rows of shields.

These models aren’t going to win any painting competitions, but it’s been a nice thing to finish a dozen models – a unit – from sealed box to ready for the table (after flocking!) in only 1 week. They’re at a tabletop standard that I’m quite happy with for historical models that I literally have hundreds of (roughly 900-1000 plastic infantry between the various types of Greeks and Macedonians – ouch!) It’s also been a good learning experience on what to do and what not to do. Now to get the other two dozen of this batch finished!

https://i1.wp.com/i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg143/azazel_f13/Miniatures/Greeks/IMG_4726_zpsurkhhxtz.jpg

The unit leader.

It also means that my painting total for 2016 is 12 models after 3 days!